Electrified Insight won't be sold in Europe, but hybrid powertrain expected to appear in Civic

The 2018 Honda Insight has been revealed in production form at the New York motor show with a hybrid powertrain that is expected to be offered with the Civic in Britain.

Following the reveal of a pre-production prototype at the Detroit motor show earlier this year, the Insight is being displayed in New York before sales kick-off in the American market. Although the car won't be offered in Britain, the third-generation Insight's electrified powertrain is due to make it across the Atlantic.

The hybrid powertrain, also set for use in the 2018 CR-V hybrid that is scheduled to go on sale in the UK in August, is predicted to join the Civic's engine option list, adding to the existing diesel and petrol options. In the Insight, it offers 155bhp and, according to US tests, up to 55mpg in urban environments.

In the US, Honda's Insight is its direct answer to the Toyota Prius. It uses a more conventional saloon shape than its high-reared predecessor, with the front adopting Honda’s aggressive new styling theme, gaining a metallic strip running the full width, tying in with Honda’s other US-market models. 

The wheelbase and length of the new car have grown over the previous Insight. The former, now 2700mm, is claimed to give the car class-leading legroom.

Where previous hybrids have been compromised by their electrification, the new Insight will be “a great car in its own right, independent of what’s happening under the hood”, said Honda’s US boss, Henio Arcangeli earlier this year.

“The all-new Insight embodies Honda's approach to creating electrified vehicles without the typical trade-offs.”

The original Insight of 1999 was rated as the most fuel-efficient petrol car certified by the EPA at the time. Honda has not yet announced how fuel-efficient the next Insight will be, but Arcangeli described the car as having “best-in-class performance” in this regard. Fuel economy of around 60mpg is mooted, although Honda claims the Insight can drive on electric power alone in most situations.

Inside, the car has an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system and a 7.0in LCD display behind the steering wheel. It’ll feature smartphone-mimicking customisation of the interface and applications, as well as the ability to update software over-the-air via wi-fi.

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Comments
13

11 January 2018

Given the swing against diesel in Europe, and the resulting pressure on average CO2 levels i am surprised that Honda isnt rethinking bringing it here.

11 January 2018

Agreed. A few years ago Honda stubbonly stuck to its IMA hybrid technology, resisting the trend towards diesel in Europe. Now, just as the market is beginning to reject diesel, Honda is about to introduce its newest oil burning Civic. OK, this will help reduce its fleet average CO2 figure.... if it manages to  sell any, that is. 

It would  be interesting to know more about this new Insight's hybrid system. The fact that it can run in purely electric mode suggests something completely different rather than a development of IMA, which kept the engine running at all times (because it was integral with the electic motor). Although this system couldn't match the efficiency of Toyota's hybrid system, IMA was relatively simple mild hybrid alternative that offered low weight and cost as well as the option of manual  transmission.  A pity if Honda has abandoned it.

15 January 2018

I think this is a move to the engine as a generator and the motor as the permanent primary propulsion. This gives the opportunity to decouple engine speed from road speed and 'possibly' gain some efficiency by running the engine at a peak efficiency speed rather than trying to suit road speed via a gearbox. With and electric motor drive (at least up to a certain speed at least) it means no need for clutch or gearbox either.

15 January 2018

What you have described is a series hybrid. This configuration undoubtedly has advantages, but it is less efficient in steady speed cruising than a non hybrid (simply because the electric transmission losses (charging/battery/motor) will exceed those of a direct mechanical drive). Maybe Honda has managed to replicate Toyota's HSD system which allows the petrol engine and electric motor to be decoupled under certain conditions while minimising transmission losses while cruising?

We need to  know more about what Honda is up to on the technical front!

15 January 2018
LP in Brighton wrote:

What you have described is a series hybrid. This configuration undoubtedly has advantages, but it is less efficient in steady speed cruising than a non hybrid (simply because the electric transmission losses (charging/battery/motor) will exceed those of a direct mechanical drive). Maybe Honda has managed to replicate Toyota's HSD system which allows the petrol engine and electric motor to be decoupled under certain conditions while minimising transmission losses while cruising?

We need to  know more about what Honda is up to on the technical front!

Yup series hybrid, but with direct engine drive at higher speed to dodge conversion loss and where the Atkinson engine is happier as it lack low speed torque.

All that matters to me is they put just enough battery in to get a low official CO2 rating and it does a realistic 40mpg'ish, then its future in the company car market looks great, I would be interested. I like the Kia Niro but its just a bit too small. 

15 January 2018

What a shame they won't bring it to Europe, looks good and would no doubt be excellent as a white goods, rush hour grind long commute car.

Always thought the Accord was an under appreciated sales rep car.

26 March 2018

There will be hybrid CRVs and Civics in Europe, so the Insight is probably surplus to requirements. 

The last Insight has very disappointing economy - despite being noticeably smaller than a Prius, it could barely average more than 40mpg. Let’s hope the new drivetrain is a lot more efficient.

26 March 2018
scrap wrote:

There will be hybrid CRVs and Civics in Europe, so the Insight is probably surplus to requirements. 

The last Insight has very disappointing economy - despite being noticeably smaller than a Prius, it could barely average more than 40mpg. Let’s hope the new drivetrain is a lot more efficient.

I get pretty good economy from my insight, and size wise its easily a match for the prius, not smaller really. It's actually not far off an octavia space wise. A prius is definitely more economical but was when new and still is, about £3k more expensive like for like. Whilst they always get compared, because they're both hybrids, they are really poles apart, the ima is effectively a boost for a smaller engine as opposed to a full hybrid. Suzuki do something similar now.

It's about time honda had another hybrid for sale over here.

26 March 2018
scrap wrote:

There will be hybrid CRVs and Civics in Europe, so the Insight is probably surplus to requirements. 

The last Insight has very disappointing economy - despite being noticeably smaller than a Prius, it could barely average more than 40mpg. Let’s hope the new drivetrain is a lot more efficient.

I bought a 2010 Insight EX new which I owned for three years. I was able to achieve anywhere from 40 to 50mpg (US) on average, depending on temperature and terrain. 

 

26 March 2018

Shame it's not coming to Europe, even with a conventional petrol powertrain, as it is a rather less challenging looking car than the Civic...

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